It's a word that has been whispered in my thoughts lately.  I’m finding more and more that to live the kind of life I want to live, it takes diligence.

My Friday afternoon mood-gauge now serves as a direct reflection of how well I’ve kept to my bed-time in the weekdays prior.  While I might think I’m getting away with an hour here or there, the mood I have with my family at about 4:00 Friday afternoon reveals the truth.

When my youngest hits my oldest, yet again, instead of using her words like I have been witness to her being capable of on so many fist-pumping accounts; when I ask her to go to her room and her feet grow roots into the floor; when I give her two options and she chooses the toughest route; when she hits me as I steadily carry her unwilling body up to her room … and I feel the yell stirring deep inside...

…it takes diligence to stay calm and unfazed.  To be that which I ask my daughter to be when her circumstance attempts to take the best of her.

It takes diligence to get the rest I need in order to give the kind of energy I want to give to my family.

It takes diligence not to take out on our partners that which they had no part in creating.  

It takes diligence to choose movement, to choose activity, to choose exercise, to choose real-time interaction over our phones, to choose the bigger picture rather than the temptation of the moment.

It takes diligence to get the groceries I need to have dinner ready for the week, to make it easier on our family during our busy work week.

It takes diligence to care for my home.

It takes diligence to create an intention for the day, and to stay mindful enough to stick with it.

It takes diligence to write in my gratitude journal daily.  

It takes diligence to get up before the family and carve out that quiet time my system needs.  

So … how does one keep diligence in mind without feeling burdened by it?  Without taking it too seriously?  Without feeling like, when we aren’t diligent, we are failing?  This is what I struggled with, when considering it as a blog-topic.  How do I keep it from feeling like one more thing I need to do?  How do I keep it from being something about which to be hard on myself?

Perhaps the answer is in being diligent about finding bliss in life, too.

About seeking out that which makes us genuinely happy, and doing more of that.  

About creating moments of spontaneity and fun.  

About knowing that life isn’t about getting the laundry done or the wall painted (okay maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better) or the weeds pulled.  

About choosing that which makes us smile instead of … {insert unwanted, happy-depleating mood here}.  

About turning off the thoughts and drama that keep us stagnant.

About choosing to savor every bite of that donut, because, well, if you’re gonna eat it you may as well thoroughly enjoy it.  

About being kind and forgiving with ourselves in knowing that there will be more moments, moods, days, looks, words, tones that we wish we could scribble over with a sharpie of a brighter color.  

About accepting the flow and rhythm of life for all the sweet and sour it brings.  

About accepting all that makes us human and alive and real.  

About finding the kind of compassion for ourselves that we give so freely to our friends and family.

If we are diligent with how we handle the challenges, we will have more space to be open to the good.  And if we are diligent about staying open to the good, then we can more easily find the choice to be diligence when life presents us with its inevitable flow of challenges.


[I write this fully aware that some of you are naturally more diligent than I.]


About the picture: the girls and I made lemonade from our lemon tree.  It’s a tedious process, but it was worth it in a once-a-year kind of way. They got to see how much sugar goes into the simple syrup, so at least now they get it when we say no to refills!

 © Houseman 2013